Are Companies Considering Diversity as Much as They Say They Do?

Hiring a diverse team and creating an inclusive work culture is something that most companies strive for these days. At least, most companies claim that this is one of their top priorities. Yet, numerous reports suggest that companies are not so quick to give equal opportunities to a diverse workforce.


The Covid-19 pandemic also took its toll on the state of diversity among companies by democratizing workplaces and creating hybrid working environments. Some reports even go so far as to conclude that the remote workplace is more permissive for toxic and discriminatory behaviors, which would be easier prevented in case of on-site work. With working women staying at home more and taking on the burden of balancing work with housework and virtual schooling, some researchers claim that 2020 has been when women were dropping out of the labor force at unprecedented rates.

However, the disbalance, both in gender and racial representation in the companies, has negative consequences due to the social values and from a purely financial perspective. Since establishing a diverse workforce has proved to have positive long-term effects on employees' productivity levels and the levels of innovation at the company, it is only logical that companies genuinely start working on their diversity and inclusion policies. 

But, as we all know, things are never as simple as they seem, and if they were, the issue of diversity in the workplace would already be taken care of a long time ago. That is why we decided to cover the topic of diversity and see whether companies are as diverse as they claim to be and, more importantly, give actionable advice on how they can become more inclusive.

What is the current state of diversity? 

The most recent McKinley report found that the trend of diversifying the workforce includes higher gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity across industries since 2014. However, the same report suggests that despite the rise in diversity, it is still a very slow growth. More specifically, Google was the first company to issue a diversity report back in 2014 when they reported 61.3 percent white and 69.4 percent male. However, in the past seven years, they slightly improved reporting its people as 54.4 percent white and 68.4 percent male (source: builtin.com).

When looking into the numbers for the US, only for the tech industry, we can see that companies are nowhere near reaching the fully diverse workforce. More specifically, 47% of workers in the industry are white, 21% are black, 2% Hispanic or Latin, 10% are Asian, 6% are of two or more ethnicities, and finally, 4% prefer not to disclose. 

The importance of a diverse workplace

As we mentioned in the article's introduction, the companies financial performance significantly increases by having diverse teams on board. More specifically, here are some benefits of building diverse teams: 

  1. Diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee

  2. Diverse management has been shown to increase revenue by 19 percent

  3. Gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to beat industry median financial returns

  4. More than 3 out of 4 workers prefer diverse companies

Source: builtin.com

building a diverse workplace

How to attract diverse talent? 

In order to build diverse teams, it is essential to create strategies for attracting diverse groups of talent to join your company in the first place. And when we say strategies, we don't mean depicting all ethnicities in a culture video, but creating meaningful strategies that would display different benefits appealing to different genders or races. 

Here is a step by step guide for attracting diverse talent to your company: 

  1. Create EVP that will attract diverse talent

  2. Develop diversity & inclusion programs

  3. Figure out how to communicate your values

  4. Create inclusive job postings

  5. Post your openings on diverse job boards

Create EVP that will attract diverse talent

Before anything else, it is essential to develop an employee value proposition that will reflect an authentic employee experience and offer minority groups a surrounding of understanding and acceptance. More specifically, since EVP stands for the balance of the rewards and benefits that employees receive in return for their performance at the workplace, you should put your words into action. 

This means creating new practices and introducing a more flexible environment where minority groups can still equally "compete" to climb the corporate ladder. For instance, offering women- a group mainly leaving the workforce (check the data from the article's introduction), to stay and work from home while taking care of their children can quickly improve the number of female applicants. This can also be one of the solutions for groups of candidates that have to undertake a long commute to the office. 

Ultimately, it is essential that your EVP reflects the actual employee experience in each stage and reflects on the candidate experience. From a first impression candidates form based on a job post and the first visit for an interview to the feeling that persists during the employment. This goes for every aspect of your employer brand, including diversity. 

Develop diversity & inclusion programs

Diversity and inclusion programs designed to decrease biases at the workplace are a good step towards building a diverse workforce. Training your employees, both members of the HR department and other teams, to be more inclusive and work on their personal biases. One of the most effective ways to develop such a program is to tailor it specifically to your company's needs. This means that each company can experience diversity issues, but not all diversity issues can be tackled in the same way. That is why assessing the state of diversity and inclusion at your company should be a first step for creating an equal workplace. 

Figure out how to communicate your values

Let's go back to the culture video we mentioned in part about developing a truthful EVP. Well, at one point, it's time to find a way to communicate your values to your targeted candidates successfully. And using your career site or social media and enriching it with relatable yet truthful content (such as a culture video) can go a long way. 

When communicating your values in a sphere of diversity, it is imperative to do it sincerely without being too pushy or intrusive. Since diversity is a pretty sensitive topic, it can be seen as fake and backfire pretty bad if a company gets caught for wrongly portraying the level of diversity of their employees and misleading candidates about how inclusive they are. Therefore, finding a way to be truthful and discreet in the way you communicate around diversity is the way to go! 

Create inclusive job postings

Job postings are the first touchpoint that the majority of the candidates will have with your company. Therefore, besides defining the job requirements, it is also essential to communicate what your company stands for and depict the culture to which the applicant should be drawn. 

There are several things you should consider when creating an inclusive job description:

  1. Accurately communicate your values

  2. Avoid gender-coded language

  3. Offer benefits that appeal to a diverse audience

If you want to know more about how you can create more inclusive job postings, check out the article → How to Create as Inclusive Job Postings as Possible?

Post your openings on diverse job boards

Finally, as you create openings attractive to diverse audiences, you must equally work on finding the proper channels for promoting such jobs. Whether you are looking to diversify the ages among your teams, work on gender or racial equality, it is necessary to evaluate channels on which you are advertising your jobs and see which channel attracts the most of each audience. You will soon realize that not all candidates have the same way of searching for a new job, increasing your chances of attracting diverse applicants. 

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Companies could & should be as diverse as they claim to be!

From everything presented within this article, it is clear that companies could and definitely should work towards increasing the diversity of their staff. Whether you want to make your company a nicer place to work or increase innovations and beat your competition by having higher financial gains, make sure to perform your A-game when building your diverse team! It takes effort but also brings tangible results. 

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